Whereas revenue managers were concentrating on ramping up occupancy in a market already struggling, the marketers have their hands busy creating advertising and promotions to build greater engagement. Throw the sales team into the mix, aiming to bring in new lines of business, and a disaster is waiting to happen for hotels trying to navigate their new norm.
What has been clear, however, is that new technologies will play an important role in helping hotels streamline their objectives in a post-pandemic world. For this reason, the Revenue team can drive new collaborative opportunities by leveraging the power of big data and AI in driving more business for their hotels. As Mike Chuma of iDeas Revenue Solutions recently wrote, in light of post-COVID restructuring, “revenue managers are likely to become more entwined in every aspect of hotel operations, [including] sales and marketing.”
This entails that the Revenue Manager will need to actively share their actionable trends and data for the Director of Sales and Marketing to act on. Although Sales and Revenue have been previous sources of tensions–where opportunities brought in by the former are to be signed off by the latter–the Director of Sales can still play an important role reimagining the hotel’s key objectives.
Where can Revenue pitch in when analyzing new business opportunities? After all, with all the numbers at hand, the leadership in Revenue can give key insights into where new lines of business can evolve as well as how to develop existing links.
“Hotels revenue, sales and marketing strategies must be cohesive to optimize revenues” says Allison Ahrens. “New leadership roles should have a mix of experience incorporating revenue data, strategy and sales acumen. Hotels that miss this blend of skill set in their leaders will undermine the success of hotel revenue optimization. Those that do will avoid conflicting department strategies that cause revenue loss, not gains.”
Revenue Management must work cross-functionally with Sales and Marketing to achieve common goals.
How well do your teams understand one and other? For example, does your sales or marketing team know about demand as well as the revenue team does? On the other hand, what marketing strategies are the revenue or sales team aware of?
These might be important questions for departments to ask of each other. If the answer is “very little” or “not a whole lot”, the hotel might want to take the opportunity to cross-train the departments so that they have a more intimate knowledge of how each team works towards their objectives. It remains the case that the most important way to bring revenue, sales and marketing together is to recognize what assets each team has that they can offer each other in providing guests the most meaningful travel experiences.
In 2018, CCO Wendy Stevens of First Hospitality Group used the example of how providing the Revenue management team with social media data would encourage them to factor customer sentiment into how aggressively they can price their rates. “There is growing recognition across the industry that is bringing meaningful value in inter-departmental cross-training,” Stevens went on to say.
According to Allison Ahrens, this type of collaboration is what can make the difference. “Revenue, sales and marketing must work holistically to achieve a stronger foundation in today’s travel environment.”
Zoom is an effective tool to maintain communication between remote teams.
As the future of work changes, Revenue, Sales and Marketing must avoid operating independently from one another or they can risk jeopardizing the overall ambitions of the hotel. Communication can be the most critical way to bring the disparate teams together. And an organization that prioritizes communication can best serve their underlying goals.
But with more options to connect online, so too are there opportunities to miscommunicate. Although the days of meeting in-person and water-cooler may not be part of the new norm, making sure that close social ties remain at the hotel will be essential for your customer.
“Focus on the ties that bind your people together,” said a recent report by McKinsey when predicting many businesses would have hybrid remote/on-site workforce. “Pay heed to core aspects of your own leadership and that of your broader group of leaders and managers.”
At a time where we’re more connected virtually, this might require leaders to communicate more, not less. Weekly participation in revenue meetings and one-off meetings for special campaigns where teams can touch base will be crucial in maintaining these ties between departments. Meetings, even if occurring online, may also have to increase in frequency to ensure that Sales, Revenue or Marketing teams feel as they are being heard.